Thanksgiving Shutdown: Rangers blank listless Flyers for second time this season

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The second meeting of the year between the Rangers and Flyers was an awful lot like the first.

Dan Boyle, Martin St. Louis and Rick Nash scored while Cam Talbot stopped all 26 shots faced as New York blanked an uninspired Flyers team 3-0 at Wells Fargo, on what was a very Black Friday in Philadelphia.

Nine days ago, the Flyers were also blanked by the Talbot and the Rangers — 2-0, in the first meeting of the year between the two teams. That game was notable because, afterward, GM Ron Hextall unloaded on players with a profanity-laced tirade inside the MSG dressing room.

Hextall’s rant has done little to change the on-ice product, however.

The Flyers lost three of four following that defeat in New York, including Wednesday’s 5-2 loss to Detroit which was followed with a players-only meeting. “It’s easy to see things slipping away,” goalie Steve Mason said, a notion pundits seem to be agreeing with:

As for today’s game, there were no more signs of life than previous outings. Philly only mustered 26 shots — including a mere 15 through the first two periods — and allowed another power play goal, marking the seventh time in the last eight games the league’s worst PK unit has allowed at least one PPG. Unsurprisingly, Flyers were showered with boos by the disappointed home crowd.

With the loss, Philly dropped to 8-11-3 on the year, falling five points back of the Rangers in the Metropolitan Division.

The Rangers, meanwhile, have now won three of four and are looking like a fortress defensively; today’s game marked the return of captain and top defender Ryan McDonagh, and it also marked the third time in the last four games New York posted a shutout.

Notes

McDonagh had 22:12 of ice time in his return, and notched an assist… St. Louis’ goal was the 1,000th point of his career… These two teams will meet again tomorrow at MSG.